Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle) – by Thach Nguyen
Friday, June 15, 2007
Over the past 15 years, I’ve learned powerful lessons about why good deals get better and bad deals go south.
The primary reason deals fail is absence of clear vision about how the product will make a difference. When the vision is clear, magic happens.
For example, in 2006 I set out to create a high-rise condominium project that would serve the first-time home buyer. What set this project apart was that it would include the finishing details typically found in high-end condos, including granite slab countertops, hardwood floors, quality cabinetry and stainless steel appliances.
We believed that buyers would sacrifice square footage for these details and the Belltown address in Seattle. The Moda condo project took shape based on this vision, and 251 units sold within four days, at price points of $160,000 to $460,000. Given the glut of condos competing to find suitable buyers, this result is remarkable.
Other reasons that deals fail include the wrong partners showing up. It’s hard to find good people and it’s easy to find good deals. One without the other isn’t good enough. On one project, I thought my partner had a better track record and better connections than he did. We scrambled to secure financing. He didn’t have the pull to get the due diligence accomplished in a timely manner. As a result, the deal fell through and I lost the $200,000 earnest money deposit.
I ignored my gut, and paid the price.
The partners get locked into what the result should look like instead of remaining open to new possibilities.
For example, I am developing two mixed-use projects in downtown Renton. Rather than push forward on a condominium deal when the scarcity of rental housing is the market reality, I adjusted the vision to serve the first-time renter. These units are being built to condominium specifications to serve first-time buyers when market conditions are more favorable. When the apartments are converted, the residents will be offered the opportunity to purchase the units at a price that is affordable for them.
I’ve discovered that many people are not very clear about what they want. People do things for the wrong reasons — to look good, for greed or to prove something to others.
You can make money doing that, but you’ll have to grind to do it and sacrifice joy, satisfaction and relaxation in the process. You’ll never find luck, miracles and synchronicity this way.
When you do things for the right reasons that are aligned with your passion and your intention to contribute, you attract the right partners and the opportunities at the right time to make the contribution that only you can make.
What is your passion? What is your vision and intention to contribute? And how are you bringing those elements to every project? Your clarity will guide you to lasting success and satisfaction.
THACH NGUYEN is a real estate developer, investor and motivational speaker. He can be reached at Thachnmail@yahoo.com.